Indonesia | Economics

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A primer in international negotiations

If you are a fan of John Perkins's Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and you find the US foreign policy despicable, you'll definitely love this piece of research by two economists.
We find that a country’s U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members’ votes should be especially valuable) and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country’s election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great control.

Of course, the difference between being a conspiracy theorist and an economist is the standard of evidence used. Can we then say that economists are simply econometric-minded conspiracy theorists? I thank the Freakonomics blog for the lead.

And all the while, this paper says that UN diplomats (often from poorer countries that don't pay their parking tickets come from culturally corrupt countries. Wonder if the authors include US diplomats in their sample...


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